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Six days till the next Flower Show tour guide meeting -- and view of the show floor. Or maybe five days till the next etc., depending on how badly I'm jonesing for the smell of mulch.

The first hippeastrum started to open yesterday -- apple blossom, with just two flowers, but that's all right. Today it's fully open.

Schlumbergera are winding down, but I still have three plants with blooms, and two of those plants still have unopened buds.

The Nopalxochia outlier is almost fully open, but not quite. The two other buds have a long way to go.

Meanwhile, I had an unexpected gift: one of the rooted impatiens cuttings I overwintered is taking off and it has a flower! Three begonia cuttings, rooted and potted up, have buds too.

Seeds from Park Seed arrived yesterday: impatiens shady lady (blushing beauties mix), and double curled parsley. I will add them to my two kinds of basil and call it a day, seed-wise.
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Underdone Bluefish gave me the day off yesterday -- I was feeling pretty good, biked on two separate errands. But it's making a repeat appearance, with low fever and TMI effects. Not as bad as the other day, though, and I've just taken drugs so I may feel fine pretty soon.

I looked around our little back yard and saw some progress I will want to chart.

garden stuff you can skip )

And now I'm all sweaty, which I think means the drugs are kicking in and the fever is breaking, so perhaps I'll feel more like working.
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But I did, at least a little, and then went down to make a late breakfast. After breakfast I stood in my minuscule backyard, enjoying the blue sky and thinking it would be so nice to be able to hand out my sheets....

....except that my whole yard is 17 x 17, we've been feeding the sparrows for months, and my sheets would be covered with bird poop in about 20 seconds.

Another good reason to move!

On the other hand, there's a volunteer opp to work on a little public garden outside the Hort Soc headquarters tonight at 5:30. That's an easy bike ride and I'm sure if I turned up with my trowel land my entrenching tool they wouldn't turn me away.

EDITED TO ADD: Garden Notes )
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2010-01-10_01hippeastrumIt's a lovely faux-spring day today, with temps in the 50s, and I really should be out, but I'm wiped from the dash across the finish line with a grant proposal. Shaping and writing it became exclusively my responsibility at the eleventh hour. I'm too old to pull three consecutive almost-all-nighters. By the third day of three hours' sleep the night before, I was so tired I fell off my bike on the way home from dropping off the proposal. I simply couldn't muster the strength to get under way -- the bike and I toppled over. For a change, I'm barely bruised, so there are little mercies.

The days are lengthening perceptibly, though, and my plants are starting to respond. The hippeastrum seedlings (above, right) are crowding themselves in their little flat and will probably need to be re-potted next month. There are signs of growth on five of the adolescent hippeastrum and two of the three adults. I should probably bring in the others, but have been putting it off. No germination in the pansies yet, but my last little sage cutting has finally put out roots so I potted it up today. Another begonia cutting has put out exuberant roots and will need to be potted as well. The trailing rosemary that I forgot to water appears to be well and truly dead. The rescue rosemary from the community garden (both plants) are all right. I lost one or two coleus cuttings but they were duplicates, and the rest seem fine. The Christmas cactus flower I fertilized has definitely fruited -- the ovary is big and fat and reddish. I think it takes a year for the fruit to ripen, but I have patience.

EDITED TO ADD: Some time during the holidays, when a Schlumbergera in a hanging basket was in full bloom on the side to the window, I decided to turn it 180 degrees so I could enjoy the flowers. Now the other side has put out buds and started to bloom. Gee-darn, a whole nother two weeks of Schlumberger-y goodness!

Time for a nap, though, I think. One night's sleep hasn't quite made up for three mostly sleepless nights.

We're not over our Paris TX fantasy yet, although the rumor that it may be a dry town has cooled it a bit.
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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
I'm looking at my Flickr pictures (I've uploaded almost 9,000, a sure sign of a lot of misspent time) and I ran across this one from last year.

My looking glass begonia doesn't look anything like this! Oh, the leaves have the same pattern, but it's not full and lush and certainly has never bloomed.

Perhaps there is a nice spot out back just waiting for me to find it and install one of these so that it will be glorious when I bring it in come fall.

In other news, I just looked out over the rooftops and saw an unspeakably scruffy black cat walking around. on top of the roof about four doors up. I wonder how he got up there...
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The first peony flower is getting brown around the edges and will probably drop its petals later today, if I don't cut it off first. I think the plant needs to be repotted in something larger.

The wisteria is just about in full bloom and is attracting bumbling carpenter bees and some fierce smaller bee thing that chases them.

Something has happened to my sense of smell -- neither the peonies nor the wisteria smell especially pleasant. There's a something they have that's common to petroleum products and I am noticing it more this year. Perhaps next year they will all smell better.

Last evening I moved some plantlets that are prone to self-sowing and nestled them in around the hostas. That would be rose campion and feverfew, as threatened. I also pulled up the couple of puny Martian Invader daylilies that never flourished in the Wisteria Pit, and put them where they'll get more sun and (I think) less competition.

On the windowsills, my seedling basil are just starting to put out their first true leaves. In a couple days I think they'll be far enough along to get a shot of Miracle Gro. There are about a half-dozen rooted coleus cuttings that I might as well pot up. Perhaps they'll go in the window boxes after all. Plus somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen looking glass begonias.

My friend Ann is returning a lilac to me some time this weekend. It's pink and not fragrant. Perhaps I'll pass it on to my sister. EDIT: Here's what it looked like in 2002. It's much bigger now:


The Schlumbergera 'madisto' that [ profile] clindau brought me last spring is clearly pot-bound, so I'll upgrade it to a 4" round pot today and hope that it gets pot-bound enough by fall to bloom for me. I took the Nopalxochia outside the other day. It got really bleached out from its time in a sunny window this spring -- lesson learned, and I'll move it next April.

EDIT: I was given some Jobe plant food spikes, so I pushed three in my big 'Looking Glass' begonia today.
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The looking glass begonia had gotten leggy and nasty. Roy fixed that yesterday by knocking it over. So I cut it all back and we'll see how it does. I have about eight cuttings, unsurprisingly.

It appears I may lose a holiday cactus, a first for me. It's the 'gold charm' that I liked so much. The leaves toward the tips got all funny colored and wrinkly, although it bloomed just fine. Suspecting root rot, I pruned it down to a few leaf joints, pruned the roots back to things that are definitely white, and repotted. I also took some cuttings.

Down in the basement, the coleus and basil pesto perpetuo were growing sideways along the grow lihght bulbs. I gave them all haircuts.

My mother of thousands don't look at all well, at least the two mothers that I started with. The thousands seem okay.

The regal pelargonium cuttings may have rooted but their older leaves are yellowing, so it's a tossup whether I'll have any come spring. The scented pelargonium cuttings are fine, naturally.

No new flower stalks from the hippeastrum this morning. We're holding steady at three. Others are sprouting, though. I'll be glad when the experiment is over. I could really use that windowsill in the winter.


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